Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

Daily News Digest – August 19, 2019

Good morning! It’s gonna be a great week.
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, August 19.



1. New law severs rapists’ parental rights to any child.

  • A new law will sever all parental rights for those convicted of rape or incest to any children they have, not just babies born from their crimes or children they victimized.
  • It’s a significant change for a state that doesn’t currently have a specific law prohibiting rapists from seeking parental access to children conceived during an assault.
  • The new statute, sponsored by State Rep. Will Dismukes, R-Prattville, is part of Jessi’s Law. As originally written, the bill would have kept rapists from their victims and children conceived during a rape. It was amended in the legislative process this past spring to apply to any child of the convicted.
  • Gov. Kay Ivey signed the law in June and it goes into effect Sept. 1.
  • Some are now saying the final measure may have gone too far and needs to be revisited, while others say it’s fine the way it is.
  • ADN’s Caroline Beck and Mary Sell looked into the issue for their feature story today.
  • Read that in full HERE.


2. In the Weeds w/ Martha Roby.

  • U.S. Rep. Martha Roby has served as the congressman for Alabama’s 2nd District since 2011. First elected as a part of the Republican wave of 2010, Roby recently decided that this, her fifth term in Congress, will be her last.
  • Before the House let out for its August recess, Roby announced that she will not seek another term. That decision surprised a lot of people because virtually no one had predicted Roby would be stepping away next year. She was also somewhat coy on the factors that contributed to her decision, only saying that she and her family had prayed about it and decided it was time to “close this chapter.”
  • For the latest episode of “In the Weeds” with Alabama Daily News, I sat down with my former boss for a little more in-depth conversation about her decision, how Congress has changed over the years, what accomplishments she’s proudest of, and what’s next for her career. She also had some advice for any candidates seeking her seat that is really worth a listen, whether you are a candidate or an observer.
  • Speaking of potential candidates, Caroline Beck and I reviewed the latest list of announced candidates and those still thought to be considering a run. I predict there will be as many as six serious candidates by the time qualifying ends, and that will make for a crowded race.
  • There are different ways to listen. You can go to the story link and just press play at the bottom of the page while you read the excerpts. You can listen and subscribe on Apple/iTunes Podcasts. You can listen and subscribe on Google Podcasts. Or you can listen and subscribe on Spotify.
  • You won’t offend me if you skip ahead of the commentary to the good parts. And don’t forget to leave a rating and review, particularly if you’re an iTunes podcast listener!


3. Bham bridge is on time.

  • Not to jinx it, but officials say the reconstruction of Interstate 59/20 through downtown Birmingham remains on schedule.
  • Alabama Department of Transportation Regional Engineer DeJarvis Leonard tells WBRC-TV that the overall project is somewhere between 75% and 80% complete.
  • That includes placement of 1,600 new bridge segments so far. Leonard says 700 more segments need to be placed.
  • The shutdown affects the more than 1-mile-long section of I-59/20 from Red Mountain Expressway to Interstate 65.
  • Traffic clogged downtown Birmingham streets after the shutdown began in January, but Leonard says congestion is easing. He says traffic signals have been adjusted on one detour route to speed motorists.
  • Construction costs are expected to top $700 million. If Texas contractor Johnson Brothers finishes before the March 2020 deadline, it could earn a bonus of up to $15 million.
  • Story link.


4. Matthew Stokes: The Vitality Index.


  • If it’s Monday, we’re reading Matthew Stokes.
  • His column this week focuses on the vitality, or lack thereof, in different parts of our state and country.
  • With so many college graduates and other young professionals flocking to major cities, many parts of rural America – and many suburbs – are left with lagging “human capital.”
  • It’s a potentially big political issue that neither national party is really addressing at the moment, he argues.
  • Here’s an excerpt:
“Rural areas lose industry for a variety of reasons and, in time, those rural residents with college degrees get tired of driving to bigger cities for health-care, shopping, education, and entertainment. When those folks leave, they take with them their ‘money, civic energy, and organizational know-how.’ Put crudely, this phenomenon causes many of our rural areas to suffer from a significant brain drain. A look at thestate of Alabama on the Hamilton Project’s interactive map reveals strong vitality numbers in Autauga, Baldwin, Madison, and Shelby counties while the rest of the state flounders from bad to worse. The problem is that too many of our state’s best and brightest are increasingly congregating in intense clusters, leaving rural and even suburban areas bereft of the human capital that could enrich them. While this phenomenon has been occurring nationwide, it is cold comfort to a state that is reckoning with a stagnant population…
“What can be done to stabilize the decline of rural America, or, more immediately, rural Alabama? It’s a complex question, and it’s one that deserves more attention than it has been getting from our elected officials.”
  • Read the full column HERE.



5. AP News Briefs.

Deadline passes for new Democratic Party elections
  • A deadline has passed for the Alabama Democratic Party to elect new leaders.
  • National party officials had given the state party until Aug. 17 to hold new elections for chairman and vice chairman and to adopt new bylaws and encourage participation by more minorities. The directive came after a challenge to the re-election of Nancy Worley as chair of the state party.
  • However, the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee last month rejected the state party’s proposed bylaws.
  • Worley said then that they would work on a new timeline with national party officials.
  • The DNC meets next week in California.
Matching pets with owners designed to ‘clear the shelters’
  • Humane societies in Alabama and Georgia are among many participating in this weekend’s “Clear the Shelters” events.
  • The events are aimed at finding owners for the animals.
  • In eastern Alabama, the Lee County Humane Society is participating in Saturday’s event for the first time. It will offer reduced adoption fees for pet adoptions.
  • The Opelika-Auburn News reports that many shelters are participating in “Clear the Shelters” on Saturday. The Lee County Humane Society will continue its participation through Sunday.
  • Local media report that several other shelters in Alabama are participating, including ones in Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, Huntsville, Mobile and Birmingham.
  • Full story HERE.
Auditions for “American Idol” being held Tuesday in Alabama
  • “American Idol” producers say auditions will be taking place in Mobile at the GulfQuest maritime museum.
  • Auditions will be Tuesday for the show’s 18th season, which will air on ABC.
  • People planning to audition can register in person on Tuesday, or in advance via Online audition options also are available.
  • The GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico is located on the Mobile waterfront. The museum, which has faced financial troubles, is south of the Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center and Cooper Riverside Park, and just north of Mobile’s cruise terminal.
  • Those seeking to audition must be 15 to 28 years old as of June 1, 2019. Among other requirements, competitors must be legal U.S. residents and cannot be candidates for public office.
Alabama pilot says he crashed in trees to avoid road, condos
  • A pilot has escaped a plane crash in Alabama with only minor injuries.
  • Local news outlets say the crash happened just after noon Sunday near a condominium complex on Lake Logan Martin south of Lincoln.
  • The Lincoln Fire Department says the pilot was the only occupant of the Nieuport biplane and was flying from Bessemer to Talladega when he had some kind of fuel problem.
  • The pilot tells firefighters that he wanted to land on a road paralleling the lake’s eastern shore, but there was too much traffic. The pilot says he instead flew into trees to avoid the road and the condo complex.
  • Bystanders helped the trapped pilot from the plane. He was alert and walking and taken to a hospital with minor injuries.
  • The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.





ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – In the Weeds w/ Rep. Martha Roby
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – New law severs rapists’ parental rights to any child
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – $700M rebuilding of Birmingham interstate on schedule
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matthew Stokes: The Vitality Index
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Matching pets with owners designed to ‘clear the shelters’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Feds grant environmental OK for controversial Mobile bridge
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama won’t release contract related to executions
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – NASA picks Alabama’s ‘Rocket City’ for lunar lander job
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Op-Ed: Bradley Byrne on Israel and ‘The Squad’
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Will Whatley: What’s to blame for gun violence?
AL.COM  – Decatur looks for ways to ban guns from Point Mallard water park
AL.COM  – Hey, Alabama, public data are public documents, too
AL.COM  – NASA boss visits Alabama school seeking brainpower for future space projects
AL.COM  – Thousands of Alabama students enroll without vaccine records
AL.COM  – Columnist John Archibald: Virtues learned in the South
  AL.COM – Columnist Kyle Whitmire: Hey DNC, Alabama Democrats need an intervention.
Montgomery Advertiser – Former Prattville Mayor C. Gray Price dies
Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery County negotiates pay for housing federal inmates in jail
Montgomery Advertiser – MPS says no to making money: Board votes against providing food service to charter school
YellowHammer News – Samford University’s Ida Moffett School of Nursing receives $3.5M Nurse Practitioner Residency Grant
YellowHammer News – Josh Laney to head Alabama Office of Apprenticeship as skills program expands
YellowHammer News – Commerce secretary says Alabama needs new economic development plan
Dothan Eagle – Domestic violence suspect found hiding under blanket
Dothan Eagle – Government Oversight: Dothan officials tweak budget process to promote clarity
Dothan Eagle – Alabama Highway 173 in Headland being resurfaced beginning Monday
Tuscaloosa News – 37 pets adopted during Clear the Shelters in Tuscaloosa
Tuscaloosa News – $700M rebuilding of Birmingham interstate on schedule
Tuscaloosa News – Alabama Bid Day: Pledges learn which sorority has chosen them
Decatur Daily – Morgan public school cautious in budgeting online sales tax revenue
Decatur Daily – City officials contemplate the Terry era and postscript
Decatur Daily – Council to vote Monday on controversial ambulance service ordinance
Times Daily – ‘Lions Lend a Hand’ service event faces changes this year
Times Daily – Renewable energy symposium set for September
Times Daily – 1 year later, mother, police seek answers to hit and run
Gadsden Times – Could craft beer spark Alabama barley production?
Gadsden Times – State’s new road rage bill takes effect Sept. 1
Gadsden Times – Cullman company marks local fame with historic green benches
Anniston Star – Unique challenges, opportunities set stage for next year’s Anniston elections
Anniston Star – Hobson City celebrates anniversary by honoring oldest resident
Anniston Star – Jacksonville’s students return to campus
Troy Messenger – CGI evacuated, cleared after bomb threat
Troy Messenger – Clio teen killed in wreck
Troy Messenger – Wiregrass RC&D funds local projects
Andalusia Star News – Suspect in Opp robbery charged with theft of property
Andalusia Star News – Annual Bayou Feast set for next Friday
Andalusia Star News – Man shot in burglary, APD seeks information
Opelika-Auburn News – ‘Gentleman’ raccoon gets trapped in a vending machine, and more of this week’s weirdest news
Opelika-Auburn News – BID DAY 2019: Auburn Panhellenic hands out more than 1,430 bids
Opelika-Auburn News – Lee County Sheriff’s Office releases sketch, seeks information related to Phenix City homicide
Daily Mountain Eagle – Photo IDs needed for absentee applications
Daily Mountain Eagle – GOP sets Oct. 8 as start of qualifying
Daily Mountain Eagle – Ribbon cut for Curry sheriff substation
Trussville Tribune – Birmingham man wanted in connection to car break-in
Trussville Tribune – Deadline passes for new Democratic Party elections
Trussville Tribune – Alabama pilot says he crashed in trees to avoid road, condos
Athens News Courier – Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana’s governor during Katrina, dies
Athens News Courier – Sanders’ criminal justice plan aims to cut prison population
Athens News Courier – Trade war’s losers could include microchips, energy, banks
Sand Mountain Reporter – Local church group stitches blankets, bears for children
Sand Mountain Reporter – Trial begins for Tucker murders | Victims’ son, house cleaner testify; key witness set for next week
Sand Mountain Reporter – Talk of the town | Initial reaction to Old Mill Park split among community
WSFA Montgomery – Man stabbed in possible domestic incident
WSFA Montgomery – Shots fired near youth football games held at Bellingrath Middle School
WSFA Montgomery – Remembering Nancy Parker: Devoted journalist, loving wife and mother
Fox 6 Birmingham – FCC moving forward with 3-digit number for Suicide Prevention Hotline
Fox 6 Birmingham – FIRST ALERT: Extreme heat, drought conditions impacting central Alabama
Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham police create ‘safe meeting zones’ for online sales
WAFF Huntsville – Suspect faces multiple charges after chase with DeKalb County authorities
WAFF Huntsville – Abandoned section of Tennessee Street may come to life
WAFF Huntsville – Athens police investigating fatal wreck on Highway 31
WKRG Mobile – Crashes with injuries reported on I-10
WKRG Mobile – Florida’s iconic palm trees threatened by invasive disease
WKRG Mobile – Semmes to break ground on “First Responder Safe Room”
WTVY Dothan – Birmingham police create ‘safe meeting zones’ for online sales
WTVY Dothan – Auditions for “American Idol” being held Tuesday in Alabama
WTVY Dothan – Back to school rally helping students prepare for the first day back
WASHINGTON POST  – As mass shootings rise, experts say high-capacity magazines should be the focus
NEW YORK TIMES  – How Trump’s Policies Are Leaving Thousands of Asylum Seekers Waiting in Mexico

Front Pages (images link to newspaper websites, which you should visit and patronize)




Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia